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Potato Sourdough Starter

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "michelle"
To: phaedrus
Sent: Monday, June 16, 2003 8:31 PM
Subject: sourdough starter

> Dear Phaedrus,
> About 10 years ago an acquaintance gave me some sourdough bread starter.
>  I kept it up for a couple of years but then after an extended vacation,
> I let it die.   It is unique because it uses potato flakes in the
> process.  I would like to know how to make the starter and the bread.  I
> have plenty of other sourdough recipes, but this is and all time
> favorite.  Thanks for your effort and time. Michelle

Hi Michelle,

See below.


Sour  Dough  Starter  For  Potato  Bread

 Ingredients : 
 1 pkg. dry yeast
 2 tbsp. sugar
 2 1/2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
 1/2 c. lukewarm water
 2 c. warm water
To Feed Starter:
 3/4 c. sugar
 3 tbsp. instant potatoes
 1 c. warm milk

 Preparation : 
   Mix yeast with 1/2 cup warm water.  Mix sugar with 2 cups warm
 water and flour.  Add yeast mixture.  Let set in glass jar covered
 with a cloth for 5 days.  Mix above ingredients and add to starter. 
 Let starter stay out of refrigerator 8 to 12 hours after feeding. 
 Lightly cover during this time.  After 8 to 12 hours stir and remove
 one cup of starter for making bread.  Return remainder to
 refrigerator.  Note:  The starter can be fed 3 times without baking
 bread.  Just feed, let it stand 8 to 12 hours and return to
 refrigerator.  Don't feed more than 3 times without baking.  
 Potato  Flake  Starter

 Ingredients : 
 1 pkg. dry yeast
 1/2 c. lukewarm water
 2 tbsp. sugar
 2 c. warm water
 2 1/2 tbsp. all-purpose flour1/2 c. sugar
 3 tbsp. instant potato flakes
 1 c. warm water

 Preparation : 
   Mix yeast with 1/2 cup warm water.  Mix sugar with 2 cups warm
 water and flour.  Add yeast mixture.  Place in glass jar covered
 with a clean cloth and let stand for 5 days at room temperature.  It
 should be foamy and have a yeasty aroma.  Starter Feed: Put the
 initial sourdough starter in refrigerator for 3 to  5 days.  Take
 out and feed with this mixture:  Mix well and add to starter.  Leave
 starter out of refrigerator all day (8 to 12 hours) or until very
 bubbly.  Remove 1 cup to make bread and return remainder to the
 refrigerator.  Keep in refrigerator for 3 to 5 days and feed again. 
 If not making bread after feeding starter, throw away 1 cup of the
 mixture, but it may be fed two to three times before using for
 bread.  This is to avoid depleting your starter.  
 Potato  Starter

 Ingredients : 
 2 pkg. active dry yeast
 1/2 c. warm water (105-115 degrees)
 1 c. warm water (105-115 degrees)
 2/3 c. sugar
 3 tbsp. instant potato flakes

 Preparation : 
    Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water in mixing bowl.  Stir in 1
 cup warm water, sugar and potato flakes.  Let mixture sit all day at
 room temperature.  Refrigerate 2-5 days.  Remove from refrigerator
 and feed.  To feed:  Use starter no more than every 3 days and no
 less than every 10 days.  Before each use, feed starter.  Add 3/4
 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons instant potato flakes and 1 cup warm water
 to starter. Leave on counter overnight or all day in glass jar with
 holes punched in top.  Makes 2-3 cups. 
 Potato Sourdough Bread:

 1 c. starter
 1 1/2 c. warm water
 1/2 c. oil
 1 tsp. salt
 1/4 c. sugar
 6 c. all purpose or bread flour (may
    substitute up to 3 c. whole wheat
    flour for 3 c. all purpose or
    bread flour)

 Preparation : 
    This potato starter and sourdough bread is one of my favorites. 
 It is easy to make and tastes great.  I prefer to use bread flour. 3
 tbsp. instant mashed potato flakes 1 c. all purpose flour 1 c. warm
 water   Mix all ingredients in glass or ceramic bowl.  Cover loosely
 with plastic wrap or waxed paper.  Let stand at room temperature 2
 to 3 days, stirring at least once a day.  (Mixture will separate on
 standing.)  After 2 to 3 days, the starter will be bubbly and
 slightly increased in volume.  (It may no look bubbly until you
 start to stir it.)  Starter is now ready to use or it may be stored
 in the refrigerator in a covered bowl or jar for up to 7 days. 
 After using some of the starter, you may keep it going indefinitely
 in the following manner.  Feed the remaining starter by mixing in an
 additional 3/4 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons instant mashed potato
 flakes, 1 cup all purpose flour and 1 cup warm water.  Let
 replenished starter stand, loosely covered, at room temperature for
 1 to 2 days before using or storing in the refrigerator.  Mix all
 ingredients thoroughly to make a soft dough.  Turn dough into a
 large greased bowl and cover with waxed paper or plastic wrap.  Let
 rise at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours or overnight, or until
 dough has doubled in bulk. Punch down and knead for 2 to 3 minutes
 until dough is smooth and elastic. Divide into 3 equal portions and
 form each portion into a loaf.  Place in greased loaf pans and let
 rise 6 to 8 hours or until loaves are double in bulk.  Bake at 350
 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until bread is golden brown and
 sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.  If sides and bottom do not
 brown sufficiently, remove loaves from pans and return to the oven
 for 3 to 4 minutes. 
 Starter  For  Potato  Flake  Bread

 Ingredients : 
 1 pkg. yeast
 1/2 c. warm water
 2 tbsp. sugar
 2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
 2 c. warm water

 Preparation : 
    Mix yeast, sugar and the 1/2 cup water.  Then, mix in flour and 2
 cups water.  Store in glass jar covered with cloth fastened with
 rubber band.  Keep at room temperature for 5 days.  It should bubble
 and have yeasty aroma.  Feed with the following and store in
 refrigerator. 1 c. warm water 3 tbsp. instant potatoes   You can
 take out a cupful to make bread anytime as long as it reaches room
 temperature first.  Potato flake bread recipe is the same as
 Sour Dough except 1/2 cup sugar instead of 1/4 cup.  
 Potato  Bread  Starter

 Ingredients : 
 3/4 c. sugar
 1 c. warm water
 3 tbsp. instant potato flakes

 Preparation : 
    Mix well all ingredients.  Refrigerate for 3-5 days.  Remove from
 refrigerator. Let stand in open container for 8-12 hours.  Then
 remove 1 cup mix for bread. Return to refrigerator.  Feed and remove
 a cup for bread in 3-5 days. 

Flaked Cereal?

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Marian 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2003 11:06 PM
  Subject: flakes of oat, wheat, etc

  Dear Uncle
  We were having a discussion on how they managed to beat the kernels of oats, wheat, barley, etc 
  into flakes.  Like the flakes in granola.  Do they cook them first?  Or what happens to them.  
  Love to know

Hi Marian, Flaked cereals were invented in 1884 by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, one of the famous Kellogg brothers. Dr. Kellogg was a nutritionist who believed in treating illness through diet. One day as he was trying to improve the vegetarian diet of his hospital patients by searching for a digestible bread-substitute, Kellogg accidentally left a pot of boiled wheat to stand and become tempered. Putting the boiled wheat grains through a roller, he found that each grain emerged as a large, thin flake. He found that if these flakes were then baked, they were quite tasty with a bit of milk added. Kellogg began serving these wheat flakes to his patients and experimenting with other grains besides wheat, and a few years later he made a similar product using corn. Dr. Kellog's brother Will was the businessman in the family, and when Will saw these corn "flakes" that his brother was making, he realized there was a vast market potential there. Thus "Kellogg's Cornflakes" were born and the rest is history.

Flaked cereal is still made that way. The grains are boiled, then put through a roller to flatten them into flakes, and then they're baked to make them crisp.


Italian Bread Soup

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Vicki 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2003 5:23 PM
  Subject: bread soup

  I've looked all over the web for Johnny Carino's bread soup recipe.  It is my husband's 
  all time favorite, can you please help me find it?

  Thanks so much,

Hi Vicki,

There are no copycat recipes for Johnny Carino's that I can find. All I can do is send you some Italian bread soup recipes.


  Zuppa Di Pane (Bread Soup) 
     Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
   --------  ------------  --------------------------------
      1      pound         dried cannellini beans
      3      quarts        water
      1 1/2  teaspoon      salt
        1/2  teaspoon      pepper
        1/4  cup           plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
      2      bunches       swiss chard--or spinach leaves
      1      large         onion -- chopped
      3                    carrots -- diced small
      2                    celery stalks -- diced small
      1      tablespoon    tomato paste
      1                    loaf stale italian bread--cut into 1/2-inch slices
      1      tablespoon    chopped fresh italian parsley
      1      tablespoon    chopped fresh basil
   Soak the beans overnight in a large bowl with enough water to cover by 2
   inches. Drain the beans and run them under cool water. Place the drained
   beans in a large pot with the he 3 quarts of water over high heat. Add the
   salt, 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper, and the 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the
   water; bring to a boil then lower the heat and cook the beans about 1 hour
   or until tender. Remove a third of the beans and reserve for garnish; leave
   the remaining beans in their cooking water.
   Remove the stems of the Swiss chard and finely julienne. Reserve the
   leaves. Add the Swiss chard stems, onion, carrots, celery, tomato paste and
   the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the cooked beans. Bring to a boil and
   cover. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about an hour or until
   the vegetables and beans are very tender.
   Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the Italian
   bread and brush it with the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. Place on a baking
   sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown.
   Remove the center rib from the reserved Swiss chard leaves and cut each
   leaf into eighths.
   When the soup is ready, ladle the hot mixture into the blender and puree.
   (It should have a thick, winter-soup consistency; if too thick, add some
   boiling water.) Mix in the parsley, basil, reserved beans and cut-up Swiss
   chard leaves. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
   Place 2 slices of toasted bread in each serving bowl, ladle the soup on top
   and serve immediately.
   Yield: 6 first course servings, or 4 as a main dish
  Bread Soup From Puglia
  Preparation - Medium
  Serves 6 - 8

  The name means simply cooked bread, and like so many similar soups all over Italy the key 
  ingredient is slightly stale bread. In Italian, the bread, once it's no longer fresh, i
  s called pane raffermo, meaning bread that has firmed up - a nicer terminology than our 
  "stale bread" with its negative connotation of bread that is no longer any good.

  Ideally, pancotto should be flavored with lots of wild herbs and greens like borage, wild 
  fennel, wild chicory, and rocket or arugula, but if you can't find these herbs, use a handful 
  of fresh rosemary, thyme, basil, sage, arugula, and/or parsley, combined and chopped.

  The vegetables can be varied with the season - add a handful of fresh fava beans in springtime, 
  a few cauliflower florets in the fall, or bright cubes of butternut squash in winter.

  8 TBSP cup chopped fresh wild or garden herbs (see above) 
  2 zucchini, quartered and cut in chunks 
  1/2 lb fresh green beans, broken in short lengths 
  1 lb small new potatoes, preferably white ones, their skins rubbed off - or larger potatoes, 
       peeled and cut in chunks 
  2 ripe red tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped, or 1 1/2 cups drained canned tomatoes 
  1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed with the flat blade of a knife 
  8 TBSP cup chopped white onion 
  2 - 1-inch-thick slices slightly stale country-style bread 
  1/2 small dried hot red chile pepper 
  freshly ground black pepper to taste 
  1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 

  IN a stockpot or soup kettle place the herbs, zucchini, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, 
  and onion and cover with water to a depth of one inch.

  ADD salt to taste and bring to a simmer over high heat, then turn the heat down to medium-low, 
  cover the pot, and cook until the potatoes are tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

  CUT the crusts off the bread slices and soak briefly in water, then squeeze the bread to get rid 
  of all the water.

  TEAR and crumble the soaked bread and add to the simmering soup along with the chile pepper. 
  Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the bread has thoroughly broken down and thickened 
  the soup, about 10 minutes longer.

  TASTE and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt if necessary and pepper if desired.

  SERVE the soup immediately, with a good dollop of olive oil or olio santo and a little sprinkle 
  of freshly chopped green herbs atop each serving.

  OPTIONAL: You may also pass a bowl of freshly grated pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano at table.
  Bread Soup
  Minestrone di Pane
  Ingredients: Ingredients for 6 persons: 1 lb. 12 oz. fresh red kidney beans - salt - 
  1 3/4 oz. fatty bacon - 1 onion - 1 stalk celery - 1 clove garlic - some basil leaves - 
  1 bunch parsley - 1 hot red pepper - extra-vergine olive oil - 3 1/2 oz. pork rind - 
  1/4 head cabbage - 1 lb. 1 1/2 oz. tomatoes - pepper - bread of a home-made type.
  Cook the beans in 2 qt. water, adding salt only when they are almost cooked. Finely chop the 
  bacon, onion, celery, garlic, basil, parsley and red pepper. Heat 4 tbsp. olive oil in a pan 
  and stew the chopped condiments. Boil the pork rind in water. Cut the cabbage in thin strips 
  and cook it for 10 minutes with the rind. Cut the tomatoes in pieces and remove the seeds. 
  Add the rind, cabbage and tomatoes to the beans, along with more salt, if needed, and a pinch 
  of pepper. Stir thoroughly and cook for at least 40 minutes over moderate heat or until the 
  rind is tender.
  Cut the bread in slices, toast them in the oven and rub with garlic. Arrange the slices in 
  individual soup bowls, pour over the soup and serve. Pass around olive oil  

Peanut Butter Icing

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Theresa 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2003 8:19 PM

  I am looking for an easy peanut butter icing for a chocolate cake. I had one 
  but I miss placed it.
  Thank You

Hi Theresa,

See below.


  Moist  Chocolate  Cake  With  Peanut  Butter  Icing

   Ingredients : 
   2 c. sugar
   1/2 c. cocoa
   1/2 c. sour milk
   1/2 c. Mazola oil
   1 c. Hot water
   2 eggs
   2 tsp. soda
   2 c. flour
   1 tsp. salt (optional)
   1 tbsp. vanilla
  --Peanut Butter Icing:--
   2 c. confectioners sugar
   1/2 c. cocoa
   8 tbsp. Crisco shortening
   1 tbsp. vanilla
   Egg white
   Regular milk or evaporated milk
   Lots of peanut butter

   Preparation : 
     Combine in any way, beat well and bake.  Bake in 2 (8 inch) layers
   at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.  If baked in long 13 x 2 x 9
   inch pan, may take a little longer.  Just beat all together with
   electric mixer and spread on cooled cake.   
   Peanut  Butter  Icing

   Ingredients : 
   3 c. sugar
   1 stick margarine
   1 1/2 c. sweet milk
   1 1/2 c. peanut butter (creamy)
   1 tsp. vanilla

   Preparation : 
      Cook sugar, butter, and milk until forms a soft ball.  Remove
   from heat and beat in peanut butter and vanilla.  Beat until smooth,
   spread over cake while warm and let cool.
   Peanut  Butter  Icing

   Ingredients : 
   2 tbsp. butter
   1/4 c. peanut butter
   3 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
   6 tbsp. milk

   Preparation : 
     Cream butter and peanut butter.  Slowly add sugar and milk. 

Hermit Cookies

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: joe
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2003 9:53 PM
  Subject: recipe request

  I am looking for an old fashioned recipe for Hermit cookies.  I have found several recipes 
  that come out flat like a chocolate chip cookie, however the one I am looking for is a nice 
  thick cake like cookie.  

Hello joe,

Thing is, none of the recipes that I find say exactly how the end result will look. There are some recipes below, but I can't say whether they'll be cake-like or not. Maybe you can tell.


  Old  Fashioned  Hermit  Cookies

   Preparation : 
      Preheat oven to 400 degrees; bake 10 minutes per pan. 2 c. light
   brown sugar 1 c. butter 4 to 5 egg yolks 1 c. sour cream with 2 tsp.
   of soda mixed in it 1 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon 1 1/2 tbsp. salt 1 tsp.
   ground cloves 3 1/2 c. flour 8 oz. pecan pieces   Combine all
   ingredients and mix well.  Roll between your floured hands, about
   one tablespoon of dough, and place on cookie sheets.  It will make
   about 12 to 15 cookies per pan.  If you put baking paper on cookie
   sheets, slide the sheet of paper to table to cool.  Store in tins. 
   Makes 6 to 7 dozen cookies.
   Hermit  Cookies

   Ingredients : 
   3/4 c. margarine
   1 1/2 c. brown sugar
   3 eggs
   2 1/3 c. flour
   1 level tsp. soda
   1/4 tsp. cloves
   1/4 tsp. cinnamon
   1/2 c. hot water
   1 c. raisins
   1 tsp. vanilla

   Preparation : 
      Cream first 3 ingredients.  Sift together the dry ingredients. 
   Alternately add dry ingredients and hot water.  Add raisins and
   vanilla.  Drop on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. 
   You may vary recipe by adding 1 cup cut up nuts. 
   Hermit  Cookies

   Ingredients : 
   3/4 c. shortening
   1 1/2 c. brown sugar
   3 eggs, well beaten
   3/4 tsp. baking soda
   2 1/2 c. pastry flour
   1/2 tsp. cinnamon
   1/2 tsp. nutmeg
   1 c. raisins
   1 c. chopped walnuts

   Preparation : 
      Cream shortening and sugar; add the well beaten eggs.  Sift 2
   cups flour with the soda and spices and add to egg mixture.  Add
   raisins and nuts mixed with the 1/2 cup flour.  Drop by teaspoonfuls
   on greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 375 degrees until lightly
   browned, about 10 minutes.
   Old  Fashioned  Hermit  Cookies

   Ingredients : 
   2 c. flour
   2 tsp. baking powder
   1 tsp. cinnamon
   1/2 tsp. nutmeg
   1/4 tsp. cloves
   1/4 tsp. salt
   1/2 c. shortening
   1/2 c. sugar
   1/2 c. brown sugar
   2 eggs
   1 c. raisins
   3/4 c. chopped walnuts

   Preparation : 
     Sift together flour, baking powder, spices and salt.  Cream
   shortening, sugars and eggs together well.  Blend in flour mixture. 
   Add raisins and walnuts; mix well.  Drop by teaspoonful onto greased
   baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until
   lightly browned.  
   Old  Fashioned  Hermit  Cookies

   Ingredients : 
   2 c. flour
   2 tsp. baking powder
   1 tsp. cinnamon
   1/2 tsp. nutmeg
   1/4 tsp. cloves
   1/4 tsp. salt
   1/2 c. shortening
   1/2 c. sugar
   1/2 c. brown sugar
   2 eggs
   1 c. raisins
   3/4 c. chopped walnuts

   Preparation : 
     Sift together flour, baking powder, spices and salt.  Cream
   shortening, sugars and eggs together well.  Blend in flour mixture. 
   Add raisins and walnuts; mix well.  Drop by teaspoonful onto greased
   baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until
   lightly browned.   


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